Hamilton: F1 should consider a new tyre war

Lewis Hamilton has suggested Formula 1 should reintroduce a tyre war between manufacturers following the criticism of the prototype 2021 rubber Pirelli has produced

Hamilton: F1 should consider a new tyre war

After sampling the prototype C3 tyres in practice for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, Hamilton expressed his frustration that Pirelli "had two years now to develop a better tyre" and that F1 has "arrived with a tyre that's three kilos heavier and it's like a second worse per lap".

Formula 1 has had a single tyre supplier since 2007 - when the Michelin vs Bridgestone tyre war ended in the aftermath of the infamous 2005 US GP, and Bridgestone then supplied all the teams until the end of 2010, when Pirelli took over.

The current tyres have been in use since the start of 2019 after the prototypes developed for this season were rejected after the drivers sampled them in practice at the 2019 US GP.

"It's difficult for us drivers to say [what we think about the tyres]," Hamilton said, when asked if any pressure to stick with the existing tyres had already been applied to Pirelli.

"We try to be constructive, we try to be supportive in the background and nothing changes.

"And then even when we say something not too positive in the media nothing changes.

"I do miss the tyre war that used to happen in Formula 1. I think with that, it's great.

"When you don't have any competition, you've got no one to base yourself on.

"Just imagine us as a team, or for Max and his team, and none of us [Mercedes] were here - they wouldn't develop as they do now because they're chasing and competing against other people.

"Formula 1 needs to do something different in the future and that's something we need to do."

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas explained that "[of] our understanding with the new tyres, the main difference was in terms of reliability", as Pirelli has strengthened the rubber to avoid further failures related to the speeds and loads reached by the ultra-high-downforce cars now competing in F1.

There have been several instances of failures in the 2020 season - most notably to the two Mercedes cars and McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr in the British GP and for Lance Stroll at Mugello.

"They got a lot heavier like just because there's more material to try and prevent any punctures or failures that we had which is an important thing," added Bottas.

"But then on the other hand, the performance was not quite there, as expected.

"[It was] quite a bit slower and not that nice feeling to drive. I wasn't a big fan of those tyres, personally.

Speaking alongside the Mercedes duo in the post-qualifying press conference for the Bahrain race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen explained that the racers "just have to talk to Pirelli and I hope they also listen a bit to the drivers".

He added: "I hope we will not use them, but let's see."

shares
comments
Ferrari: Leclerc lacking usual confidence in Bahrain
Previous article

Ferrari: Leclerc lacking usual confidence in Bahrain

Next article

Verstappen: Red Bull F1 car "weaknesses" can't be fixed until 2021

Verstappen: Red Bull F1 car "weaknesses" can't be fixed until 2021
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022